If you check out today’s Features section of The Courier and Press you will see a story about the Great Cloth Diaper Change. Not only is this event a neat thing for families to be a part of who already cloth diaper (how cool is it that your kid can be a part of setting a world record) but it is also an important in raising awareness about what cloth diapering is really like.
Today’s story does just that – raises awareness. Here’s the link: http://www.courierpress.com/news/2013/apr/15/evansville-great-cloth-diaper-change-designed-to/
More and more parents are cloth diapering today but there are still a ton of people who have no idea what the “modern” cloth diaper looks like, how it works and what its benefits are. Hopefully today’s story did a good job at giving readers a better idea about that.
I know when the photographer and I were at Little Ants for the story she was surprised about what the diapers were like. She didn’t realize how simple they really were and how much these diapers could save (both families’ budgets and the environment.) She said she planned to tell some of her friends (many in the “having baby” stage) about the diapers.
When I was pregnant with Miles (and even before) I talked about wanting to do cloth. People told me I was nuts. And deep down I thought maybe I was nuts too. I said I wanted to do cloth but I didn’t really know a whole lot myself and didn’t know if it was a commitment I could make, as well as a commitment my husband would agree to follow. I did some research and impulsively (family and friends wouldn’t be shocked to hear that) I bought a couple from the internet anxious to see what they looked like in real life.
I anxiously waited for them to arrive and was shocked at how simple they really were. But there were still tons of questions. Thankfully, I found a cloth diaper store in my area (Indianapolis at the time) that offered a cloth diaper class. I signed up and was so grateful for the opportunity to have someone explain and demonstrate all the different types. As helpful as the internet can be, there is only so much reading one can do and seeing it in “real life” makes it seem so much easier.
As my pregnancy went on I continued to slowly stock up on diapers buying one or two a pay period. My family helped by getting a few. On average a cloth diaper is $20 or less (you could spend a lot more or a lot less, but this is a good middle ground.) That may seem like a lot, but when you consider that you spend about $20 a week in disposables it puts it into perspective.
That disposable budget NEVER ends until the baby is potty trained. But with cloth, you could spend $20 a week for 18 to 24 weeks and then be done. And those cloth diapers will last through several children or could be passed down to friends or family.
Another barrier in the cloth world is the idea of poop. It is such a scary concept (until you have children). No matter what, cloth or disposable, you are going to get poop on you. I don’t want to belabor this topic; but it really is a HUGE barrier for people.
You don’t put the diaper in the toilet, swirl or anything else like that. If the child is exclusively breastfed the diaper goes directly into the pail, bag or whatever system you have. If the baby is eating formula or once the baby starts to eat food you take the poopy diaper to the toilet and knock the solids in. THAT’S IT! Yes, there are some diapers where this is a little more challenging, but I promise it isn’t that tough. And plus, this is what you are SUPPOSED TO DO if you have disposables anyway. It is against the law to put human waste into the landfill and it is on diaper packages to dispose of human waste before putting the diaper in the trash.
We wash diapers every three days meaning I have an extra two loads of laundry a week. I don’t really notice it.
No more poop, promise.
We haven’t even talked about the most important part – the benefits to baby. Cloth diapers are made of, well cloth. Soft cloth. Instead of scratchy paper stuffed with chemicals that form gel beads full of you child’s urine, the baby’s bottom is wrapped in cotton, wool, microfiber, hemp or some other kind of fabric. One of the chemicals that was pulled from tampons – sodium polyacrylate – for a possible link to Toxic Shock Syndrome is one of the main ingredients in disposables.
And disposables are one of the worst things for the environment. The amount of oil required to produce them is ghastly and the suckers NEVER biodegrade (OK, the probably eventually do, but we are talking hundreds, if not thousands of years).
OK, I’m done with my soapbox. And while my passionate discourse on cloth diapers may make you think I’m a cloth nut and judge all disposable wearing people you are nuts. None of my close friends or family (a sister-in-law did until my nephew recently potty trained) do cloth and I still love them all and think they are wonderful parents!
Miles has had a few stints in disposables himself, we use them when we travel and (gasp) we even put him in one every night.
I just hope people give them a chance; even if you decide it isn’t right for you check them out. Trust me, if they were “too icky” or difficult I don’t think my husband would be on board. He changes more diapers than me these days and doesn’t complain one bit!
What are your thoughts about cloth diapers? Have any questions for me?